The conduct of the Board Chairman of the Ghana Water Company Limited (GWCL), continue to infuriate workers two years after his appointment.
According to some of the staff, Alexander Afenyo-Markin’s actions and inactions, are “causing disunity”, “division”, “low morale”, “loss of confidence” among others.
They among others, accused the Member of Parliament (MP) of Effutu of deploying a well calculated plan to blackmail, intimidate and expose the company’s union members to “hatred” and “public ridicule”.
“In all of these, we see a well calculated attempt by Hon. AfenyoMarkin to blackmail intimidate and expose the union to hatred and public ridicule. We view this as unfortunate, unnecessary, desperate”.
Though not an Executive Board Chairman, the lawyer cum MP, stands accuse of putting his personal driver on GWCL’s payroll.
He has also contrary to the laws, appointed an external solicitor for the company, whereas the company, has a legal department being manned by two lawyers with supporting staff.
This means that, while the company pays these company lawyers and staff from it scarce funds, money is also being wasted on this external lawyer. They go to claim that the legislator is pushing to get members of the Board, including himself, as signatories to the company’s accounts while ordering for all accounts to be transferred to the National Investment Bank (NIB).
Here, the workers are at a loss, questioning why this should be allowed when members of the Board, are supposed to be playing a supervisory role and not getting involved directly. “The question therefore is who supervises them; The management or they themselves?
While continuing on his mission to unlawfully involve himself in the day-to-day running of the company, Mr Afenyo-Markin, is allegedly deeply involved in the recruitment of new staff without interviews, to determine their suitability or the genuineness of certificates presented.
“For your information, workers are not happy about the way you disorganized the recruitment process of the company and bloated the labour strength astronomically. What is intriguing is the attempt to organize interview for those you employed through the backdoor and after paying them for several months. You are now calling for interviews this has made workers’ morale very low because it is now clear that you are just throwing dust into their eyes. It is unethical; we cannot call this ratification or regularization”.
As Board Chairman, the practicing lawyer has managed to stop some workers who were transferred at the procurement department at the central stores from moving even after they petitioned the board for intervention but were dismissed for lack of merit.
“As we speak now, Hon Afenyo-Markin insisted that the staff at the central stores do not move. Is it not undermining of authority? Is it not an act of indiscipline? Is it not setting a bad precedent which would hinder smooth administration of transfers in future? It is also being rumoured that the staff at the central stores is fronting for him in awarding and execution of haulage contracts”, the workers said.
At the time of speaking to this paper, the workers, said there are vacancies which are yet to be filled after some substantive managers went on retirement.
But though interviews have been conducted some six months ago to get replacements for these managers, one man is reportedly dragging his feet and has failed to release the list of people who have qualified.
“A few months to come, Tema, Ashanti South, Ashanti Production, Volta and Northern regions, would be without chief managers due to retirement. Where is the successive plan for filling these positions? The new thinker has thrown it over board. Despite these volatile situations on hand, Hon. Afenyo-Markin, held several board meetings, but could not discuss the promotion results, as well as filling the vacancies. Only God knows what you stand for”.
Having criticized and condemned the Teshie Desalination project contract which costs the company millions of dollars, the workers, say they are shocked the Board Chairman, has shockingly made a u-turn and now defending and has become the “campaigner” for the same project.
“When you assumed office as the chairman of the Ghana Water Company limited board your initial position was one of condemnation, the contract is a bad one, Desalination is not viable among others.
What has changed suddenly that you have become the major campaigner for the Desalination project, praising it all over the place? This double standard game is what infuriating workers not the union. The Technical appraisal Committee report (TAC) which would tell us whether the project is technically viable or otherwise is now a ‘spirit’, they say it exists, but we cannot see it.
Astute lawyer as you are we think you would use your position as a lawyer to trace. Rather you are interested in protecting private capital against corporate Ghana”.
They continued “You are aware that besides, the economic ramifications of the project and it impact on the company’s resources, the citizens of Teshie and Nungua communities also stated in a widely circulated petition to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Ghana that they don’t need the water and assigned various reasons.
According to the distribution, your board was copied. Hon., you don’t foresee any danger, when our members (staff) went to the same communities to read meters and collect revenue?This is a clear demonstration that the welfare of the staff is not your concern”.